Prompt: Darla watching Angel and Connor in s5

AN: Happy New Year?

What Darla is aware of, mostly, is that her boys are hurting. Her beautiful, tragic, darling boys. She can see them (she doesn't know how, and she never asks), but sometimes she wishes she couldn't, because it turns out, she might actually love after all and watching Angel and Connor fall time after time causes her pain. Actual, physical pain, gnawing in her gut, overwhelming her with how much she cares. All the feelings she would never acknowledge (or perhaps didn't even have at all) while she was alive pour out of her all directed at the broken souls that make up her family.

Most days, all she wants is to fix them. Well, fix him. Connor. Her son. The one good thing they ever did together, destroyed by other people. There are times that she loves him so much; she thinks she'll choke on it. There are times she has to sit on her hands to keep from reaching for him. She wants is to hold him, to promise him that he's not alone. Not anymore, and not ever again. She wants to protect him and tell him that if anyone else ever tries to lay a hand on him she'll rip their fucking throats out and that's just for starters. She'd rip them limb from limb, tear at their flesh, until they were unrecognizable piles of skin and bone (she's certain that Angel would be a more than willing partner in the carnage, soul be damned).

Then comes the day when everything changes. Angel makes a choice, and it's not a choice she would have made, but it keeps Connor from blowing himself sky high (and it protects a lot of innocent people, but she cares less about that).

Angel carries the weight of the decision around with him everyday. She can see it in the way he holds himself, in the lines of defeat etched around his eyes. All those years and she's never seen him look so old. She can barely admit it to herself, but seeing him like that makes her ache.

The worst part is that she knows it won't last. Lies are unsustainable and it may take centuries, but eventually they crumble. And her boys, they don't have centuries. They have weeks, maybe months. Years if they're lucky. The truth is coming for them; she can feel it in her ancient bones.

And she wants, more than she has ever wanted anything, for them to fight for it. To fight for the truth and fight for each other, and to cast aside anything that stands in their way.

Angel's friends, and Connor's "family," they can burn and take the whole damn world with them. As long as her boys make it back to each other, she doesn't much care what happens to everyone else. They're the only one's that matter.

Because she's selfish.

(and)

Because she loves them.